Feb 032011
 

A while back I did a few posts covering my favorite cloud backup solutions, and one of my favorites was Mozy. That very well may change now that Mozy has announced they are changing their pricing structure. They claim that “the backup market has changed” since 2006 due to people taking more photos and videos than ever before, and even though the majority of their users back up 50GB or less, the few that greatly exceed that number are ruining it for everyone. Gone are Mozy’s days of backing up unlimited data for a flat rate.

Instead of $4.95 per month per computer for unlimited data backup, Mozy is now charging $5.99 per month for 50GB of backup space for 1 computer, or $9.99 per month for 125GB of space shared between up to 3 computers. Need more space? You can add to the $9.99 plan in increments of 20GB for $2 per month, and additional computers can be added for that same monthly rate. As before, there are discounts if you pre-pay for 1 or 2 years.

MoneyI wasn’t thrilled about how Mozy is giving its user base a “one-two punch” of raising prices and reducing value, and judging by some of the comments over at the Mozy Community Discussion Boards it looks like I’m not alone. Shouldn’t storage only be getting cheaper with time? I understand that enterprise-class storage isn’t exactly as simple as picking up a bunch of hard drives from your local geek store, but disk space in general is a lot cheaper than it used to be.

In defense of Mozy, they still are cheaper than using cloud storage such as Amazon S3. Mozy’s giving users 125GB for $9.99 a month. As of S3’s rates today, you’d pay $.14 per GB/Month or $17.50 and that’s just for the storage (don’t forget they also charge for transferring the data to them). On the other hand, there are many competitors who still offer unlimited cloud backup for a flat rate, and I’d imagine they are seeing a lot of new business from disgruntled Mozy users. Some of them, such as CrashPlan and Backblaze are even offering a discount for those who switch from Mozy.

Another option for cloud backup that has the potential to be awesome is Google Paid Storage. Their prices are amazing – currently $0.25 per GB per year, and they’ll sell you up to 16TB of space! The downside is that there’s no easy way to back up to this space (sometimes I wonder if this is on purpose). You can utilize their space by uploading files to Google Docs, however that’s neither fast nor convenient. People have been hoping for a Google online storage service (usually referred to as “G-Drive”) for a while now and there’s still no sign of it coming, but online backups would be another great way for them to make a killing.

Even with this recent price-jacking, are online backups still worth it? Absolutely. If your computer is stolen or goes up in smoke you will have no trouble replacing the hardware, installed applications, or music, but what you really need to protect are the things that can’t be replaced such as photos and videos. Things like that are priceless, and the best way to protect them is to keep a copy somewhere far far away, like the cloud. Backing up to an external hard drive is fine, but should your home be burglarized or destroyed by fire that external drive is very likely to be just as missing/destroyed as your computer. The peace of mind that can be had from cloud backups should far outweigh the cost. I think of it as an insurance plan – the premiums fees paid for online backup may be a pain, but are far less than the cost of losing priceless data.

  5 Responses to “New Pricing for Mozy”

  1. I agree full heartedly. To me this issue is Mozy not looking at their long term business model. They sold something that they called “unlimited”, and now are making drastic changes to that. If this whole time when they were saying “unlimited” they really meant under 50GB then they have a serious issue on their hand. This could of been better handled by giving their customers more notice of the change, and allowing people to buy a year or two in advance (at the current rate) to help off set the pain.

    I think there also should be a law against selling anything “unlimited” because in reality whatever “it” is, its *never* truly unlimited.

    In the end I think Mozy wanted to get the “power” users off their system because they weren’t profitable, unfortunately I think they got a lot of bad press along with that (and that could of been avoided).

    Myself, I switched to CrashPlan, and 3.6 days from now when my data upload is complete, I will be saying goodbye to Mozy…

    • Very true, Nick.

      In a world where 500GB and 1TB hard drives are quickly becoming the norm, 50GB plans seem quite small. They’d probably be seeing a bit less backlash if these numbers were higher, such as doubling the amount of space for both plans to 100GB/250GB and keeping the prices the same.

      Power users may abuse the system by using up too much space in Mozy’s eyes, but they could have easily removed those individuals they felt were really taking advantage and avoided upsetting the majority. I even mention that they have an excessive use policy in my previous post about them. Apparently in their eyes it was just easier to upset everyone across the board rather than utilize the plan they already had in place.

      I’ve also opened a CrashPlan account and plan to write a post about it in the coming weeks.

  2. I agree doubling the amounts definitely would of helped. It was just such a drastic 180 in their opinion that caught their user base off guard and “rubbed people the wrong way”

    For example multiple users on the community board pointed to transcripts of their discussions with Mozy customer service.

    They went like this (I am paraphrasing)

    User: Hey I have 1TB of data backed up with Mozy, I know my plan is “unlimited” but just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to run afoul of any excessive usage policy.

    Mozy: There is no problem with your current amount of data. We look forward to you backing up your next Terabyte of data with us.

    Its that 180 degree change from “hey your account is unlimited, put as much stuff up here as you want” to “anyone who uploads more then 50GB is a Communist!” that is making people upset. (IMO rightfully so)

    But as always, vote with your dollars.

  3. I recently bought 20GB of Google’s paid storage for $5/year, and, apart from occasional slow uploads, it’s pretty fantastic, especially because I using Google Apps to begin with. I get that Mozy needs to be profitable, but that sudden 180 is not a way to win friends and influence people!

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